The character of a ‘celebrity’ is perhaps best defined by his behavior when the cameras aren’t rolling. The following post that appeared today on FreeRepublic paints an accurate portrait of the man (whose integrity defined ‘the husband and father’, ‘the actor’ and ‘the outspoken political activist’), that is much more powerful and revealing than any I could pen:
Back in the early 90s, my brother moved into an apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey that was previously occupied by then-emerging movie director John Sayles.
One day, he found an invitation in his mailbox, addressed to John Sayles. My brother had been living there about a year, and had no forwarding address for the director, so he opened the invitation. Inside it read something like:
- “Miramax Films and Martin Scorsese invite you and a guest to join stars Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren for a private screening of the fully restored release of their classic film, ‘El Cid’...” followed by information about the date and place (a small private theater in downtown Manhattan.)
There was an open bar, so we sidled up to that and started drinking with John Turturro, who was also there. After a while there was a big commotion as Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, and Martin Scorsese arrived. My brother and I had purchased disposable cameras, and wandered into the press throng to take pictures with those ridiculous things.
When we made our way into the theater, we sat in the row directly in front of Heston and Loren and Scorcese. Scorsese got up and talked about the restoration and why he loved the film and all that. Then Heston got up and was all class. Thanking "Marty" and everybody who helped restore the film to it's original beauty. Then he added "There is, of course, one aspect of the film that needed no restoration and more beautiful today than she was those thirty years ago - my lovely costar, Sophia Loren."
She waved to the crowd like the Queen of England and nodded at him. She did still look really good for an old lady.
Watching El Cid was great. It was a terrific movie, brilliantly restored. Plus we could see Heston and Loren up there on the screen, then turn around and see their thirty-years-older selves sitting beside each other right behind us.
After the show, Heston hung around talking to anybody who cared to. He was really wonderful. I walked up to him and shook his hand and told him I was a long time admirer of his work, in movies and politics. He thanked me quite sincerely.